Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Interdisciplinary Studies

Director, 2008-09: Phyllis Larson (Asian Studies), associate dean, Interdisciplinary and General Studies

Interdisciplinary courses use the resources of several disciplines to investigate topics that cut across departmental lines. These courses raise awareness about the distinctive methodologies and conceptual frameworks of different disciplines and their strengths and possible biases in describing, explaining, and evaluating reality.


225 From Certainty to Novelty: The Classical, the Quantum, and Beyond

This course explores the fundamental transformation in our conception of the physical world since the sixteenth century. The classical view suggests our universe is a grand machine determined by universal laws and causal regularities. The quantum revolution of the early twentieth century, and its extensions into our own time, have emphasized indeterminacy, entanglement, complexity, and emergent novelty. This revolution in thought will be investigated from scientific, philosophical, and theological perspectives. Team taught. Offered Fall semester.

230 Communicating Science and Mathematics (.25 Credit)

Oral communication is an essential part of science and mathematics. Students work closely with a faculty member to learn and practice important aspects of communicating technical information to both expert and non-expert audiences. Enrollment by permission of instructor only. Prerequisite: Previous participation in summer communication series. P/N only. Offered both semesters.

234 Human Geography of the Middle East

This course provides an examination and application of the key content, skills, and perspectives of human geography. The lens of the geographer focuses on the spatial distribution of phenomena over the surface of the earth, asking the questions "where" and "why there." The practices and skills of geography are used to investigate a variety of issues in the Middle East, including environmental problems, the culture and management of sacred places, and the reasons for war and the need for peace.

236 Research Strategies Across the Disciplines

This course familiarizes students with research strategies in their respective disciplines and prepares them to successfully complete their faculty-led research projects through the TRiO McNair program. Students read research articles written by their faculty mentor, complete a literature search, and design a poster for a research symposium.

238 War and Peace

An interdisciplinary approach to war and peace, this course incorporates the dual perspective of philosophy and history. Students study various ethical arguments as shaped in different cultures. Examples are drawn from ancient Athens, medieval Christendom, Asia, Islam, and the modern West; ethical topics include: pacifism, utilitarianism, divine command ethics, natural law theory, feminism, and cultural relativism. The course begins with warfare as treated in the Bible and concludes with nuclear terrorism. Prerequisite: completion of BTS-T.

249 Mare Balticum (abroad)

Starting with Hanseatic and Teutonic traditions of entrepreneurship from the 13th-century, this course focuses on the political and economic history of a region that has transitioned from tribalism to feudalism, the to mercantilism, capitalism, communism, and now EU-type capitalism. The course develops in an itinerant way -- city to city -- starting in Lübeck, Germany, then proceeding eastward to the cities of Wismar, Rostock, Stralsund, Greifswald, Wolgast, Szczecin, Koszalin, Danzig, Malbork, Ketrzyn, Vilnius, Kaunas, the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg in Germany's East Prussia), Klaipeda, Riga, Tartu, Tallinn, crossing by ship to Helsinki, Finland, and again by ship to Stockholm, Sweden. Students will deliver many oral presentations, including a group project of a business plan for a hypothetical start -up.

255 The Physician in Clinical and Hospital Health Care

Students will explore health care in a clinical and hospital setting through association with a physician in one of the clinics that are a part of the metro area Fairview Health System or the Family Practice Medical Center of Willmar, Minnesota. Students will follow the physician, who serves as their primary mentor, or other designated physicians through their daily activities in pertinent clinical and hospital settings. Students will observe the delivery of health care in primary and specialty areas and in practices dealing with all age groups. Emergency health care and physician support areas are other aspects of medicine to which students will be exposed. Students will keep a journal detailing their observations and their interpretation of and reaction to these observations and will write a research paper on an aspect of current medical care and practice. Selection is based on a review of all applicants (preference given to junior or senior pre-medical students with demonstrated strong academic achievement). P/N grading.

258 Theater in London (abroad)

A full immersion in the art of theater, students will attend approximately 22 performances at London and Stratford theaters. The course will include the reading of play texts, dramatic criticism, group discussions and backstage tours. England, a theatrical center of the English-speaking world, enables students to experience a wide variety of theatrical performances ranging from traditional to modern. Excursions to Stratford-upon-Avon, Stonehenge, Canterbury and Oxford offer additional cultural perspectives.

294 Internship

298 Independent Study

394 Internship

396 Directed Undergraduate Research: "Topic Description"

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor. Offer based on department decision.

398 Independent Research